cover image Into the West

Into the West

Mercedes Lackey. DAW, $28 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1736-9

Bestseller Lackey’s gripping second Founding of Valdemar fantasy (after Beyond) finds Kordas, the former Duke of Valdemar, and his roughly 15,000 constituents having escaped the clutches of an evil empire and set up camp along a seemingly unoccupied lakeshore. But their sense of success is short-lived as they discover that the land they’re on is already claimed. Kordas has no desire to wage war against the land’s rightful inhabitants, leaving him with no choice but to lead his people onward once more. Using magical gates, the expedition tow their barges across uncharted waters and forests, passing through the site of the Mage Wars that wreaked havoc some 500 years ago. There, gruesome creatures lurk among the ruins, and Kordas’s convoy must find a way around them to survive. The high stakes and the dangerous journey keep the story moving at a brisk pace. Lackey’s characters, meanwhile, are admirable as ever as they learn to work together. Series fans will not be disappointed. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Dec.)